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Re: reference suggestion -- 2nd try
by francesco ranci
03 May 2002 08:59 UTC
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I agree on having undergrads read and evaluate "the
classics", such as Malthus, Marx and Engels, Max Weber
(good reader by Stanislav Andreski), Mosca/Pareto on
the circulation of the elites, Simmel on money, and
Fleck/Kuhn on (scientific) communities... even Desmond
Morris and many others can help if you start from the
consequences of the process. The forgotten Ferrero
with his trilogy on "Power" may still delight many, I
believe - but that's more about Europe than the rest
of the world, i.e. how England came to the fore).

They can always catch up with recent literature later,
if they want to become experts in the field.

They already have a general idea of the world trends,
and I would start from that. Why not asking them to
write something on such subjects (based on their
knowledge at the beginning of the course) and then
work on the results ?

Best regards, 
Francesco Ranci

--- Quee-Young Kim <Kim@uwyo.edu> wrote:
> Note: For some reason, my message gets chopped off
> after several lines. I am sending it again to see if
> it will go through intact this time. Sorry.  
> Hi,
> If you are looking for an overview of the processes
> of evolution of modern interstate system, especially
> for undergraduates, try Chapter 1, "The Territorial
> State and Global Politics" in  Global
> Transformations, prepared by David Held, Anthony
> McGrew, David Goldblatt, and Jonathan Perraton. Also
> try "The European System Becomes Worldwide," in Adam
> Watson, in The Evolution of International Society. 
> For your second question, (incidentally,  I would
> like to point out some troubling underlying
> assumptions in your second question. Cultural forms
> of business did not and do not spread from the
> center to the periphery, for that matter, in a
> certain identifiable uniform pattern), you may have
> to go to a number of case studies rather than any
> single satisfactory work. In the above mentioned
> Global Transformations, you may find two or three
> chapters that deal with globalization of financial
> activities and global diffusion of corporate forms
> of business. If you want to introduce to your
> students specific details about things like, the
> introduction of business suit, office building, etc.
> in other cultures, you should try the excellent
> historical example from the Japanese Meiji period.
> Try works by Marius Jansen and of other scholars who
> have studied the transition of Japan from the
> Tokugawa to Meiji period. If you want some contrasts
> for comparative purposes, try some works by Jonathan
> Spence (about China,  if you are interested in
> questions like, Why did the Chinese mandarins fail
> to change into the Western forms? Or why did  the
> Japanese 'samurais" successfully transform
> themselves into 'Western-style' businessmen? ).  As
> Max Weber must have learned many years ago, the
> "profit and wealth accumulation as a creed" is
> historically and culturally specific, somewhat
> grounded in a tension between religious tradition
> and the quest for legitimacy of new opportunity
> structure. There are several excellent critiques
> (and re-analyses) of the classic, "The Protestant
> Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" and it is
> usually a great undergraduate experience of having
> to go through the literature and critiques. (See
> Richard F. Hamilton, The Social Misconstruction of
> Reality, and the recent work by Jere Cohen,
> Protestantism and Capitalism: The Mechanism of
> Influence.)
> Quee-Young   Kim
> Sociology
> University of Wyoming
> Kim@uwyo.edu

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